Typical Graham Crackers are made with graham flour, which is a coarse whole wheat flour. I actually prefer the taste and texture of my veganized graham crackers when made with home toasted whole wheat pastry flour. These cookies have been unanimously praised by the students in my Essential Vegan Desserts course at Rouxbe, who say they are easy to make, delicious and versatile. Actually, it’s been quite interesting to read the notes from the students outside the U.S. who’ve never seen or tasted grahams, but get hooked on them.
These simple cookies are showing up in s’mores, chocolate dipped treats, and ice cream sandwiches, too. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, they are healthy, but definitely not gluten-free. Well, one of the students in the inagural Essental Vegan Desserts course who avoids gluten, made the grahams successfully using oat flour. (Oat flour, when made from certifed gluten-free oats is gluten-free, of course.) When she asked me about toasting the flour, I said that I wouldn’t, since toasted wheat and toasted oats are miles apart. I was pleased when Erika reported that the oat graham crackers were successful, and I was curious too so I decided to make some myself. These are not too different from the poular Oat Sesame Cookies in my cookbook More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally or from the tart shells I sometimes make using all oat flour.
Now, here’s the thing that’s open to discussion for me:
I believe, aquafaba meringue is meringue since it looks and tastes like egg meringue. Ditto vegan marshmallows. But in my humble opinion, bean flour pastas, for example, while they can be good, are not the really pastas, nor is spiralized zucchini.
I made these crackers three times, and ate more than was necessary for taste testing each time because they were so good, I wondered if, aside from the shape, are these are oat crackers really graham crackers? Or are they not? Still, as we eat with our eyes first, I wonder if these graham cracker look-a-likes do set up the expectation and connection that says, “I am eating graham crackers.” Your opinions are sure welcome!
As to the name, what works best: Oat Flour Graham Crackers, or Gluten Free Graham Crackers, or Vegan Graham Crackers? Well, no matter what, I do recommend you make these cookies – or graham crackers. They are really good and they can be used just like wheat based grahams!
Vegan Cinnamon Oat Graham Crackers
- 1 1/2 cup oat flour, store bought or home ground, toasted**
- 6 tablespoon powdered whole cane sugar, finely grind whole cane sugar in a blender or nut grinder, then measure
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup any neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade A dark or dark amber
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons water, r more as needed to adjust dough o
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
** Toast the oat flour: Spread the oat flour in an even layer on the parchment lined sheet pan, and toast for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool the floor to room temperature. You can toast larger quantitues of oat flour, cool and store in the freezer in airtight containers until needed.
Whisk, measure and sift the oat flour, whole cane sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together into a medium mixing bowl.
Place the oil in a small mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk until emulsified.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula until the mixture holds together when pressed. If the dough is too dry to roll, add a small amount of water, a little at a at a time, until the dough is pliable enough to form into a ball. The dough should be glossy but not wet. Wait about 10 minutes for the flour to fully absorb the liquid and then if it is still too wet,add a bit more oat flour.
Place the dough into the center of a large piece of parchment. Using the palm of your hand, pat and press the dough into a rough rectangle. The shape does not need to be perfect.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap or another sheet of parchment, and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle about 14- x 10-inches and 1/4- inch thick. For the crackers to bake evenly, it is more important that the dough is rolled out to an even thickness rather then the shape being a perfect rectangle.
Remove the top sheet of wrap or paper, and trim the edges of the dough with a sharp knife to make a neat rectangle. Cut the dough into 2-inch square pieces by making even vertical and then horizontal cuts across the dough. Using a fork or skewer, poke rows of tiny holes over the top of the dough so that your crackers resemble commercially-made graham crackers.
Gather the scraps of dough together, press into a ball and then roll, trim, and prick as above.
Transfer the dough, still on the parchment, to the baking sheet. ( You can do this multiple times.)
Again, cut through the square cuts in the dough to insure that the crackers can easily be broken apart once baked.
Bake the crackers into the preheated oven for 8 to 11 minutes, or until the tops are uniformly dry and the bottoms are lightly browned. Turn a cracker or two over to check.
Remove the crackers from the oven and set the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. The crackers will be soft when they are hot, but will crisp as they cool. When cool, cut or break the crackers into squares. Store, airtight, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Freeze in airtight container for up to 1 month.
The next Esssential Vegan Desserts Course starts June 13, 2017! See the syllabus, FAQ, recipes and videos here: http://tinyurl.com/RouxbeVeganPastry